tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 24, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
diarrhea, gas or bloating? get ahead of it! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defend against digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. hit me! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. good evening, everyone. we're just about an hour away from president obama's third state of the union address. welcome to "360." we're live until midnight tonight. as we speak, the house chamber
is filling out, some members arriving as early as possible to get seats at the aisle to get on camera with the president. tonight, expect to hear both his governoring agenda and many of the themes he's going to be hitting on the stump in months ahead, largely focusing on taxes and the economy. ron paul took today off, the other three were campaigning in florida, about tonight's speech and taking issue on the man giving it. appears to be from a different planet. and flowery rhetoric. >> high unemployment. record home foreclosures. debt too high, opportunities too few. this is the real estate of our union. you won't hear stories like those at president obama's address tonight. three years ago, we measured
candidate obama by his hopeful promises and his slogans. today, president obama has amassed an actual record of debt, decline and disappointmen disappointment. >> you can decide for yourself what to think of the speech tonight. we have a team of people from the political spectrum and key players from the white house and republican side. "keeping them honest," the promises made and promises kept and broken in the year leading up to this moment. >> reporter: rising gas prices, oil company profits and the bp spill in the gulf had many voters on the warpath. the president saw an opportunity. >> i'm asking congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. >> reporter: a senate bill to cut those taxes by $2 billion annually fell by four votes even as gas prices stayed above $3 a gallon all year. call that plan stalled. republicans came into the year still sounding alarms over
health care reform. the president said, let's talk about changes. >> including one that republicans suggested last year, medical malpractice reform to reign in frivolous lawsuits. >> reporter: the congressional budget office estimated it would cut def sits by $50 billion over the last ten years but it got tangled up in bigger debates and pushed to the curve. after 4 milli,000 american live, the president made good on getting out of iraq. but afghanistan. >> today, we begin to bring our troops home. >> reporter: there are still twice as many there as when he took office. call this a work in progress. the president wanted to extend the tuition tax credit for families. that went nowhere. he wanted to reorganize government. he unveiled a plan to move six agencies and departments, all
business, hardly what many fans and critics expected. and more plans of transparency and made modest changes to tax regulations but he was hamstrung by the continuing lack of cooperation between the two major parties. and that, too, remains a work in progress at best. tom foreman, cnn, new york. >> let's go to the white house now, where they have been putting final touches on tonight's speech. these things frequently go right up to the last minute. president clinton was famous for it. senior white house adviser david plouffe joins us. what does the president hope to accomplish tonight? >> reporter: anderson, for weeks, we have been listening to republicans take center stage. tonight, the president will get a huge audience and he will use it to try to define his campaign message. his aides do not want this campaign to be a referendum on his stewardship of the economy. tonight, he will use the opportunity to try to define a
contrasting vision, two contrasting visions about the future of the economy. to listen for him to argue that he is trying to fight for a future in which hard work can help regular americans get ahead, but that there are forces out there that are protecting special interests and the wealthy. he won't name them but you'll know who they are. really, what he's doing is he's using this opportunity now to define the terms of the debate for the upcoming election before there's even a republican nominee. >> is this a sta"state of the union" address or is this a campaign speech? >> reporter: it's a cam -- a sta "state of the union" address in a campaign year and he will not be the first president to use this to frame his campaign message. you will hear the regular laundry list of new proposals. let's all be honest, in this kind of environment, these people are realists and you and i are realists and know almost none will pass and has to use this for an overarching theme and message and agenda going forward rather than legislative
agenda that's not really going to go anywhere likely. >> we'll check in with you after the speech. let's bring in our panel with us all the way through midnight. host of the cnn state of the union, candy crowley and david gergen and ari fleischer, former white house secretary. what are you expecting if anything? often these speeches, a lot of hoopla about them, not much remembered about them. this may be different because of the campaign. >> it's an opportunity for the president to issue his 2012 "politico" manifesto. here's what he wants to do after he's elected. much of what he proposes will not go anywhere. the "new york times" reported some time ago president obama's own people are saying there's only about one or two things he expects this congress to do, mostly extending payroll tax and unemployment insurance. he's not looking to them to do much else.
it's presidential but mostly about politics. i've actually been involved in this kind of speech before, dating way back to 1976, when g president ford made the state of the union. the politics overwhelmed the substance of it. >> how does that work out. take us into a white house working on these speeches, what is it like? >> big group growth. a lot of players get involved. the campaign aides, president obama's political aides have always been his central advisors. i'm sure david axelrod is either getting copies of this speech in chicago on a regular basis or there in washington. i don't know where he is. the real clash is not whether it will be political, the real clash is whether it will be a laundry list or thematic. the case of president ford, we had two different drafts, i was involved with alan greenspan
writing one draft. we had 18 votes out of 20 to do a thematic speech. the president's speechwriter an votes to do a laundry list. we did a laundry list. >> you heard already from this white house about the buffet rule. >> from the guests he has up sitting in the first lady's box to the previews we're getting out of there -- >> warren buffet's secretary will be there. >> warren buffet's secretary will be there, who pays higher in taxes percentage-wise than warren buffet does, the buffet rule. his main goal is to get o out -- the rich are getting a great deal and the middle class is disappearing. this is the debate for this year. every issue that comes up is wrapped around that, the republicans pushing back going the rising tide, floating all the boats, jfk quote, by the
way, speaker boehner quoted today pushing against this notion, want to tax the rich. this is time for him to set that basic theme. there will be other things but that's what will come out of it. what will be interesting, we wait for the nut graph, the state of the union is -- that's going to be tricky for him because he can't say it's great, that the state of the union is better than when i took office. >> a year ago, two years ago, the question was jobs and candy is right, they're trying to shift the argument to the rich are not paying their fair share. they had already made substantial progress before this speech in the central question of jobs which obama might lose to whether the rich should pay more which he has a good chance of winning. >> to say this is a divisive political speech, it does sound
divisive, no? >> we're a divided nation and the president is giving a speech that reflects the nation at the time he is speaking. i totally agree, the presidential art in an election year is sound as if you're a president and governing while coming across as someone who needs to come across better personally to get more re-elected. that's what's driving everything in the white house. the president said the staff only has one more thing to do. they basically quit for the year, get the payroll tax extended. other than that, they're done. the nation has a debt problem, spending problem, unemployment problem, the president wants to solve a popularity problem. state of the union provide that opportunity and he has all the advantages going into it. >> how combative do you think this is, paul? >> this is not a particularly pug ignatius president. i'm always amused as fleischer
and david are for folks looking to separate the politics from the government. it's like trying to separate mathematics from physics. i took it at the university of texas, physics for idiots. politics for idiots, it's entirely political and entirely governmental and that's entirely appropriate. the point they're making about setting the agenda is his most powerful domestic tool. in 2010, the republicans made the agenda and seized it from president obama and made it about spending and how they got the landslide. the question was which party can better cut spending. of course, they went for republicans. the president is winning the important battle of setting the message for 20s 12, a-- 2012 an will better fight for the middle
class. >> it sounds like the republicans are fighting for the middle class. >>, of course, that's what they always say. you never hear them talk about the poor and those impoverished, especially the bottom 10 states. i hope he will actually say it and didn't say it this time last year and got criticism there. and income inequality is not about the president going to go up there tonight and say, the rich should pay more, also talking about, how do we give those folks who are out there, busting their butts, working hard, trying to get ahead and don't feel as if the government is doing anything for them. you hear the president talk about regulations, dodd-frank, that's what's getting in the way. the reason we're in this mess, because we didn't have strong enough regulations and don't be surprised. forget this notion of sounding presidential and sounding political. you will always sound political.
the president of the united states represents a particular party and although he represents all and republicans will come away and say, he was too political. he will sound the alarm, how do i speak to the person out there struggling, wants to get ahead and people in congress haven't done enough to help them. >> david, you're shaking your head. >> i don't agree. paul is absolutely on point. all presidential speeches are about politics and presidential. this president has moved away from spending his time governing and spending his time campaigning. we have to recognize that. there is some individualdity and the public is making this argument. who is getting this fixed? neither the president or congress seems prepared to sit down and work on it this year and spend the whole time campaigning. >> arc knowled-- ac m-- acknowl
of both sides. >> have they gotten the support of the democrats and the senate running for re-election. often this is no. this gets to the point paul and david are making. the president will be political and that's his job. he must also sound governmental. if the policy he's proposing eis been rejected by his own party, he has given up on governing. he will try to make it sound fresh. his party won't even go along and he will repeat the same old tax hikes anyway. >> when you're the president of the united states, you can't pass a particular bill. you do your part pushing people. what you've seen this president do is get out of the capitol and go to the people and say i need your help in this. he will go to the battleground states. the white house should not only go to mississippi, go to
louisiana and alabama and go to red states you won't win and make your argument i'm also fighting for you. the president has to get out there and push people as well. you can't say, he's out there, he's not governing. everybody has a role in this. congress has a role plus him. >> we will take a quick break. the panel will stick around. until after the speech until midnight live. facebook, twitter. anderson cooper. i'll be tweeting tonight. and a look at how the themes president obama lays out will play in key states this fall. you're watching special coverage of president obama's third state of the union of the speech. the house call to order is just minutes away. one of 7 entrees. four courses for only $15. offer ends soon. i'm jody gonzalez, red lobster manager and i sea food differently.
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to speak to a representative, please say representative now. representative. goodbye! you don't like automated customer service, and neither do we. that's why, unlike other cards, no matter when you call chase sapphire preferred, you immediately get a person not a prompt. chase sapphire preferred. a card of a different color. (phone ringing) chase sapphire preferred, this is julie in springfield. we're about 42 minute away from the president's state of the union address. it's start to go like clockwork. 8:30, speaker boehner calls the house to order. president obama arrives at 8:40 and at one minute past 9:00, the house sergeant of arms will announce him. we already have ideas mr. obama will hit mostly how he plans to grow the economy and restore an economy where in his words, everybody gets a fair shot. how will that message be
received among key voters. john king, national correspondent, host of john king usa. "raw politics". >> the president after the big speech, sure, he's speaking to the people. he will go to key battleground states. let's look at our mini wall. he will go to nevada. that was republican last time. nevada, colorado and michigan. four of the state hes carried last time. in all four, unemployment is up, nevada up, from the time he took office. only in michigan is it down a little, still 9.3%. the president has a problem selling his approach to the economy to the american people. key battleground says, let's take another way. when the president took office in january 2009, the national unemployment rate was 7.8%. it is 8.5%. darker green, higher unemployment rate.
the president can argue it's come down in recent months and republicans argue, it's still higher than when he took office. the president is speaking to the entire country. we go back to 2008, we know florida is a toss-up, north carolina and virginia toss-up, pennsylvani pennsylvania, toss-up, ohio, most people think it will go republican, toss-up, iowa toss-up, new mexico maybe, democrats think they can put new mexico in play. now i have the president well below 270. as he speaks to the country, he is speaking to the entire country. ask his political team, eight, 10, maybe a dozen states he worries about most. there they are. i want to bring back in my group. it seems like we want to talk about fairness tonight. how does the white house define fairness in terms of taxes in
the tax code? >> i think he will couch it in terms of values in sense of a fair shake. i heard his spokespeople on television talking about a fair shot, fair shake, fair regulation rreligion religions. he has to be careful, not the sense of envy he's playing to. instead, he will talk about opportunity and empowering people. in particular, the word i'm looking at more than fair, middle class. in his first address to the congress, he used the phrase middle class once in historic reference to the g.i. bill. and then 26 times. i will have a beer every time he says it and hope i'm hammered drunk by the time the campaign is end. >> the republicans are using it a lot, too. >> let me echo that. i hope paul is hammered drunk by
the time it's done. a good way to get through it. that's the advantage presidents have in state of the unions. especially barack obama, a great speaker. he can set the table and try to move the nation's debate to the issues most favorable to him getting re-elected and stop talking about spending and debt and unemployment and the big problems he's run out of tools to fix and in my opinion, only made them worse. the problem, we need substance and policies. starting last august with a bus tour, the president gave up. he doesn't talk to members of congress to try to influence legislation. he's much stronger at giving speeches and running for re-election and man enoughing and position. that's what people should see tonight is about, maneuvering and positioning. bill clinton got a lot done with congress in his year of re-election, hard to see that with barack obama. >> roland, you're shaking your head. >> we sit here and get fixated
on middle class because those are the nice buzz words we see in focus groups. i hope we see middle class, those poor, young folks as well, speaking to a broader section of this country. expect the president -- he won't go after republicans and congress in a very overt way. expect him to issue a challenge to them when it comes to doing their jobs. we spend lots of time looking at the top and it's important to hold people accountable, you're getting a paycheck, do your job, democrats and republicans in both houses. >> candy, in the commercial, you were saying this is a big political opportunity for the president. >> what have we been talking about since all last year, right? certainly intensely in the month of january, the republicans have been pounding him over the head. now, he gets a bigger audience
than any of them can ever dream of, to put out his agenda, his vision of the world. quickly, on the middle class, the reason we talk about middle class and politicians do, most everybody thinks they are middle class, that's a sure vote getter there. a lot of people think that they are middle class, that's where the voters are. the fact of the matter is, is the his turn. from now until who knows when, maybe june, it's going to be republicans free rein bashing him and he's taking this opportunity tonight. >> i think roland has a good point about the poor. we'll return to it. let's talk about the opportunity. the republican debates, the zillion republican debates have gotten a big audience by normal standards, anywhere from 5 to 7 million people. but this speech is apt to get 40 million plus. it dwarfs anything the republicans have been able to do
and gives him a huge opportunity. another interesting thing. he was way overexposed, i think, for much of his presidency. paul begala could address this. he was giving prime-time appearances about every 2 1/2 months. he was way too overexposed. >> he was on mist buyth busters. >> one thing they have done is taking him off the stage for a long time. he hasn't done a primetime appearance in 4 1/2 months. that's a long gap. that will help him because he will sound fresher. he left the stage for others. >> he didn't leave the stage for others. welcomed the stage for others, they're so busy firing at each other, why interrupt that. >> that's a good point. >> we have to take a quick break. i want to thank our panel. the state of the union speech is set for a half hour from now. right back with my colleague, wolf blitzer. our environment.
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welcome back. i want to bring in my colleague, wolf blitzer who will continue the coverage all the way through the state of the union, wolf. >> thanks. major speech by the president of the united states. tens of millions of americans will be listening to see what the president has to say. he and his advisers know this is a power fful significant speech for his re-election campaign. the president getting ready with
the first lady to get in the limousi limousine on the south lawn of the white house and make the short drive to capitol hill. jessica, set the scene for us at the white house. >> reporter: i am standing on the north lawn of the white house where the president's motorcade is behind me waiting for him to get in and head up to where you are. the speech tonight is a speech for an elections year. he will hit a decidedly populist tone about inequality and look for him to speak about undecided voters. listen to themes about jobs and gas prices and housing prices and concerns and importantly, about the issues of gridlock in washington. listen for the tone he takes when he talks about congress and his relationship with congress, wolf. >> jessica, stand by. kate baldwin is over at statutory hall where all the members will be going through before the enter the chamber. kate is there with a special
guest. >> reporter: i am here with a special guest. we are here at statutory hall, where all the big players come before heading to the house chamber. i'm here with senator john thune of sandusky, the number three n incoming senate republican, if i'm correct, newly elected to the chair of the senate conference committee. >> that's correct. >> reporter: that is correct. senator, we've all heard a lot about the themes of tonight and seen excerpts of the president's speech. what are you hoping to hear from president obama this evening? >> i think this is largely a campaign oriented speech. the president will talk largely about things he wants to talk about on the campaign this year, a political year. you will hear him talk about fairness, to us, code for class warfare and code for tax increases. the president will try and put the pressure on the congress and sort of distract and shift the
blame for the way things are in the economy rather than taking the responsibility he has now after three years in office for the policies he's put in place. what we've seen is the obama record has been a failed one for the american workers and obvious obviously, we hope to hear him speak tonight, republicans, to say, we want to work with you on energy policy, we want to work with you on tax reform, regulatory reform on spending and debt to get this country back on the right track. >> reporter: with both sides of congress so dug in, where are the areas of common ground the republicans are willing to work with the president? >> i mentioned several. there is concern across this country and should be. the number one issue for americans is jobs and the economy. you look at things that increase the cost of people's daily lives, cost of energy is an important one, gas prices almost doubled in the last three years, energy policy that focuses on domestic policy should be one that there should be bipartisan
support for and taxes reduction is needed to get the economy going again and a lot of republicans want to see us get tax reform before the election not after. >> reporter: the speech tonight and it will be a long and busy year. thank you. >> you're seeing the two chairs, the vice president of the united states, also the president of the senate, joe biden, will sit in one of those chairs and john boehner, the speaker of the house in the other chair. they're already gathered. you can see members of the senate and house. they already welcomed the diplomatic corps, the foreign ambassadors have come. the joint members of the joint chiefs of staff will be arriving shortly and introducing the justices of the united states supreme court. i'll be curious to see how many of the nine actually show up. dana bash is inside the chamber. what's going on right now?
>> reporter: what's going on right now is old-fashioned smoozing. you have members of congress walking around, talking to each other, catching up. the house has been in session for a week. before that, they were gone several weeks for winter break. very interesting. not sure if you can see on the screen, a lot of people wearing bright colors. that's not an accident, wolf, particularly those sitting on the aisle. the name of the game isn't to come and witness history and listen to the president and have a moment as part of congress, as part of the body. it's also, for some people, to get theirselves on television. some people have been sitting here for hours, like since 8:00 this morning on the aisle, staking out their seats to get a shot of shaking the president's hand and getting on national television. >> you're sitting way up in the gallery, right? >> reporter: that's right. i'm sitting in the press gallery
above it all, with a bird's-eye view, not too far from where the first lady's box is and we will see her guests and speaker john boehner and nancy pelosi. >> we are waiting for congresswoman gabby giffords to walk into the chamber. we're obviously awaiting her and her presence is highly anticipated. she is returning for this speech, which will be her final to witness as a member of congress because she has decided to resign effective tomorrow. >> we'll get back to you. gloria borger is with me on capitol hill. a lovely breezy night in washington d.c. we just learned the agricultural secretary, tom vilsack, will be the one member of the obama cabinet not attending. they always have one member standing by. they have the president, speaker and top leaders and they want to keep some member away, god
forbid something were to happen. you can see the south lawn of the white house and the president and first lady limo. they will be exiting there to make the short drive to capitol hill. >> reporter: they will. the state of the union speech is so important to the president particularly as you head into an election. the challenge of this kind of speech, we all know it's an election year. you have to lay down your political markers without appearing to be too partisan to the american public. what the public wants to hear from the president is his vision from the country and sense of what he's accomplished over the last year. the challenge, i think, for barack obama, going forward is to make this election not a referendum on the economy but a choice between his vision and the republican vision. we heard senator shun sthune sa >> here they go. the president and first lady walking out to the car. you can tell it's a nice night. she's not even wearing an
overcut. you're on the north lawn and they're getting in the limb poe on the south lawn. >> reporter: you can see her getting in, in royal blue. i'm told she's the only one riding in the motorcade and the president finished a few hours ago. you remember in the clinton administration, they would be scribbling until the last minute. but this is a very disciplined process and been in the can for a few hours. that is disciplined for a white house, belief it or not. >> they've been working hard on the speech. the president personally drafted many of the paragraphs and revised a lot of it. he really gets involved in this product. >> reporter: he does. >> expected to last 45 minutes, depending on applause, could go an hour. >> reporter: he does get involved, as do all presidents. but the thing about state of the union speech, they're written by committee, as you know. everybody from every department, every cabinet member has input
about what he or she wants in the state of the union, what they want to say and in the end, it's the president's decision. >> this is going to be one of those historic speeches. as we await the president, he's in the car driving to capitol hill. as he gets ready to get up over here, everyone at the white house says this is a substantive policy speech. in this political election year, you know there will be a lot of politics. >> reporter: there is. i'm always stunned the amount of time members of congress waste all day sitting on the aisle just to be seen shaking the president's hand. some have been sitting there since 8:00 a.m. some think, don't they have anything better to do? >> they keep justifying this extremely low approval rating by the public. the public look at this and say, this is silly. you have more dignity than this. we send you there to do great things, not wear bright clothes and sit on the aisle.
>> these are members of the senate arriving. we're 22 minutes away from the start of the president's speech. 23 minutes away or so. our coverage is going to be continuing all the way through to midnight. a lot to discuss, as we continue to wait for the president's arrival on capitol hill. we will take a quick break and our coverage continues in just a moment. what is that? it's you! it's me? alright emma, i know it's not your favorite but it's time for your medicine, okay? you ready? one, two, three. [ both ] ♪ emma, emma bo-bemma ♪ banana-fana-fo-femma ♪ fee-fi-fo-femma ♪ em-ma very good sweety, how do you feel? good. yeah? you did a really good job, okay? [ female announcer ] to nurses everywhere, thank you, from johnson & johnson.
you're looking at live pictures inside the chamber on capitol hill. we have seen senators entering the president is on his way. we saw him, he and first lady michelle obama leaving the white house a few moments ago, en route to the capitol. we anticipate the president entering at one minute past 9:00 for a speech that may last 45 minutes, although with applause, it could last through the hour. we will bring you the republican response as well. our coverage will continue all the way through until midnight. also watching along as you watch at home or wherever you're viewing this, we have assembled groups of undecided voters. republicans, democrats, independent voters, who will be dial testing, listening to the president's speech and giving realtime reaction to it. we'll see how the speech is interpreted by folks sitting on different sides of the aisle.
there's the president's motorcade obviously approaching the capitol. david, one of the things you're going to be listening for tonight is the response to the speech. >> both kathy and i will be listening with great interest because the republicans have chosen mitch daniels, someone many conservatives wanted to get in the presidential race, he decided not to do it for family reasons. there is this longing among conservatives to find somebody else other than mitt romney or newt gingrich. if he were to give a great speech tonight, could he suddenly catch fire? remember, bobby jindal gave a terrible speech and it sunk his presidential chances. >> there had been all this talk about bobby jindal as the rising hope and this speech seemed to set him back. >> it would be an interesting political moment. >> it's an interesting political moment at that level but also the democrats and republicans at this point, by the response and the president's speech, are fight i
fighting for the agenda. what are we talking about? what is the agenda going forward. the president wants to talk about fairness. republicans want to talk about what the president has done. they are adamant. i had breakfast with a small group of reporters and speaker. the president can run and hide and talk about fairness. in the end, this election is a referendum on his policies and his results. that's the strength they want to run on. you will see this battle for who controls the talking agenda. >> that goes back to gloria's point earlier, the republicans want to make this a referendum of obama and democrats want to make it a choice about the future. >> ari fleischer, we just heard senator thune earlier on cnn when he hears the president talk about fairness, he hears class warfare. explain that. >> the problem we had is the president who said there is no red america or blue america, just the united states of
america now made it a point to talk about millionaires, billionaires, corporate aircraft, telling people not to travel to las vegas, if you remember his te t that and the one that said blue collar workers cling to guns and religion and call a police department stupid. for heaven sakes, everybody knows famous hollywood stars, musicians wealthy, they all fly on these private aircraft but he says corporate. he vilifies an entire industry the private sector where jobs are created to score points. if he really meant it, he should have said people shouldn't fly on private aircraft. if they do, we will charge them more taxes. instead, anti-corporate, bullseye on the back of corporate jobs. that's what they hear and independents here and that's why
we call it class warfare. >> do you call it class warfare? >> you'd have to ask newt gingrich and the republicans running for office, with mitt romney laying off middle class people. they're just reflecting the mood even in the republican party, people concerned about income and people concerned about crushing pressures on middle class and working people and working poor. the president is, i just think, being resi detie september wher american people is. barack obama is not a divisive figure. he's not. his fondest dream is to unified and in a time of great inequality. he's right when he went to kansas and said the defining issue of our time is whether this economy will work for people who work for a living again. he's right. if i were giving advice, i wouldn't say fairness means class warfare.
no normal person thinks the word "fairness" is bad. i would turn it back to spending or some issue to win, they won't win saying fairness is bad. >> interesting to hear two different perspectives on both sides of the aisle. paul saying the president is not a divisive figures and the republicans saying he's one of the most divisive in a long time. >> in jacksonville, when cnn hosted, we ought to put paul begala and on them on the stage. it would be fun. >> no thanks. i saw what they did to king. >> we'll be right back with our coverage.
you'd do that for me? really? yeah, i'd like that. who are you talking to? uh, it's jake from state farm. sounds like a really good deal. jake from state farm at three in the morning. who is this? it's jake from state farm. what are you wearing, jake from state farm? [ jake ] uh... khakis. she sounds hideous. well she's a guy, so... [ male announcer ] another reason more people stay with state farm. get to a better state. ♪
the gentleman from virginia -- >> they're calling the joint session into order at this moment. house speaker, john boehner. i'll hand this over to wolf. >> he's going through the initial business. john boehner, the speaker, accompanied by the vice president of the united states, joe biden, also the president of the senate. dana, we will hear a lot of references to taxes, inequality. the president will not mention mitt romney or newt gingrich by name. but people can basically discern he's talking about them. >> reporter: no question about it. john boehner, the house speaker
said to me and a few other reporters at a breakfast said this would be a campaign speech by the president. i don't think anybody at the white house would deny that with a straight face. this is the opening salvo of the president's campaign. what you were talking about, class warfare, that is going to be from here on out, i think what we will hear about from both sides of the aisle. interestingly, talking about congress, i'm inside the chamber and have a bird's-eye view. everybody sitting here as a body has an approval rating lower than it ever has been in history of polling. the whole idea of everybody trying to work together better, that was something that really came out in a big way a year ago, wolf, when gabby giffords was shot. they treated the state of the union almost like the prom in that a republican and democrat came side by side to show
bipartisan unity. we're seeing some of that this year, some democrats and republicans sitting together. not all and not like it was last year. i talked to one house member earlier, a democrat, who said, what's the point of that zblrvegts we did that last year and then it was incredibly divisive afterwards. >> that's jill biden, woman on the right, the wife of the vice president and mark kelly, husband of congresswoman gabrielle giffords who just announced she will be retiring after being injured very very seriously in that gun attack a year ago. john king is watching all this unfo unfold, on capitol hill as well. mitt romney seemed to do this president a favor today by releasing te ining his tax retue day the president will be speaking about the inequality of the tax system in the united states. mitt romney releasing it showing he made basically 14% of income taxes when upper middle class
are paying 25, 30, or 35%. >> one of the reasons governor romney did that today is a lot of it would be overshadowed by the state of the union speech. you can be sure if he becomes the nominee and has a lot more to worry about than the state of the union speech, if he can beat gingrich, he will focus on it. the president will make that fairness argument. can the president convince the people to listen to him as this campaign unfolds. as incumbent running for re-election in such a horrible economic time people feel anxiety, the psychology is the all rig electorate. it is getting better but unemployment is still higher than the day he took office. we haven't had an election like this since george r. bush in 1992 or reagan where the unemployment rate got so high, the anxiety of the american people were so high.
the question is, do they give in the president. do they say, no, we tried your way or listen to him? that is his biggest challenge and psychology going forward and this is his chance to frame it saying, i know times have been tough in months ahead. i will be on your side and i will fight for you and i need you to listen, his biggest challenge. >> congresswoman gabrielle giffords and debbie wasserman-schultz from florida escorting her in. let's listen in to this applause. [ applause ]
>> we're seeing gabrielle giffords' a welcome for her and she announced she would be retiring from congress to deal with her injuries. she looks great, i think. >> she does. she looks terrific and the response was as one might expect. fabulous. what a welcome. >> they're introducing the justices of the supreme court. i will be anxious to see how many of them show up. there have been controversy in recent years, some felt they
weren't getting the respect. you see the chief justice, john roberts walking in, justice kennedy. looks like he has a nice contingent from the supreme court. you can see who's going in right now. let's see who else is coming in with bader ginsburg. elena kagan. you have a nice contingency from the supreme court. five justices are there. >> it was justice alito, i recall, who shook his head at the president when he challenges the citizens united campaign on finance. that was controversial, as they were sitting there watching him speak. >> the first individual introduced was the dean of the diplomatic corps, ambassador in washington served here the longest, from jubati, from the horn of africa. there, you see the first lady of the united states. let's listen in to the reception.